This training is offered as a capacity building
resource for NDI’s election monitoring partners.
The goal is for each partner to be able to
independently develop a sustainable
communications plan with the following:
A. Communications Strategy
B. Online Strategy
C. Social Media Strategy
*Start with a media awareness quiz
WHAT IS DIGITAL ADVOCACY?HTTP://CTB.KU.EDU/EN/TABLE-OF-CONTENTS/ADVOCACY/DIRECT-ACTION/ELECTRONIC-ADVOCACY/POWERPOINT
Digital advocacy is the use of digital technology to contact,
inform, and mobilize a group of concerned people around an
issue or cause.
The purpose of digital advocacy is to galvanize supporters to
Common digital advocacy tools include:Blog
DIGITAL ADVOCACY TIPS
•Develop systems for managing your digital
•Develop a single content plan / calendar of
topics to post, outlining timing of advocacy
requests and desired outcomes
•Integrate and streamline social media efforts to
avoid duplicating your posts and overwhelming
•Integrate online and offline efforts
WHAT IS A COMMUNICATIONS
Connecting your audience with your objectives
The big picture that guides all your
communications efforts to achieve your goals
There is no single format or template that is
used nor one single way to create a
It should be easy to read and understand.
If done well, it will save you time and money
in the future.
1. RESEARCH & ANALYSIS
Gather resources and materials to share.
Appoint someone or a team of people to manage your
Can you allocate a minimum of five hours per week to
Do you need any outside expertise?
Will your content updates depend on any other resource
What tactics and tools best support your objectives and
match your targeted audience?
What tactics and tools do you have the capacity to
What can you learn from the experience of other
2. CONTEXT & OBJECTIVES
Listening and Learning: You're monitoring what stakeholders are saying
about your organization, your issue, or programs and using the
information to support your marketing goals.
Build Relationships and Issues Awareness: You’re increasing your
visibility in the right areas and trying to stick in the minds of others
through active interaction on many different levels.
Improve Reputation: You want to improve how others think about your
organization or issue and are responding directly to feedback through
social media channels. You may also want to improve your
organization's reputation as an expert.
Content Generation and Issues Awareness: You encourage stakeholders
to create content about your organization or it's issues and share it
with others and encouraging fans to talk about your issues to others
(word of mouth).
Increased Relevant Visitor Traffic and Page Rankings: You're using
social media tactics to drive traffic to your organization's web site or
newsletter sign up or improving search engine results or using social
media channels to spread your web site or blog content.
Taking Action or Fundraising: You're using social media tactics to spur
supporters to action or donate. Remember this objective will take
considerable more time and effort to be successful.
3. AUDIENCE & MESSAGES
Every audience is not the same.
Who must you reach with your communication efforts to meet
your objective? Why this target group?
Is this a target group identified in your organization’s
What do they know or believe about your organization or issue?
What will resonate with them?
What key points do you want to make with your audience?
What social media tools are they currently using? If they
congregate in certain online locales, what are they talking
about in relation to your brand/goals/issues/competitors?
Describe based on secondary research, direct observation, or
What additional research do you need to do to learn about your
target audience’s online social behavior or
understanding/perceptions about your organization or issues?
4. UNDERSTANDING & ACTION
Review and make any necessary changes
How does your Social Media support other components
of your Online strategy plan?
Is there an “offline” marketing push that you need to
Once you have an initial strategy, how do you get your
organization to own it?
How will you address any fears or concerns?
What is the rate of change your organization can
What is your original, measurable objective (e.g., # of
event attendees or petitions signed)?
What hard data points or metrics will you use to track
your objectives? How often will you track? Do you have
the systems and tools set up to track efficiently?
How will you harvest insights from hard data and
qualitative data as the project unfolds?
What questions will you ask to generate insights? Who
There are nearly 1.75 billion internet users worldwide.
Asia-Pacific has the largest social network user base,
with an audience of 777 million people and a share of
44.8% of social network users worldwide
33 million internet users. An estimated 95% of users
connect to the internet through mobile phones and the
rest use broadband internet from different internet
service providers. However, the total number of
desktop users is likely bigger, as a single connection is
used by many people. 3.8 million Facebook users from
Bangladesh, out of which close to one million are female
THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND
•Promote issues & Raise awareness
•Explain in basic terms what you are doing now and why it is
•Content should be honest and genuine to help build trust,
and engaging to organically grow an audience.
•Posting simply out of obligation is not a good strategy.
•Posting interesting, compelling and thought-provoking
content is the key to success.
•It is important to remember that traditional media ethics
rules apply to online journalism.
•Nothing said or done online is truly private. Anything you
post is a direct reflection of you or the organization you
SOCIAL NETWORKING AND
Many with smartphones are also turning to instant
messaging (IM) applications, instead of SMS, to
communicate socially with their devices.
IM apps are usually free and offer a less expensive
alternative for rapid communication because messages
can be sent over the Internet.
This allows users to send messages over the Internet
either using their data plan or free accessible WiFi
WhatsApp, Viber, LINE, Skype and WeChat.
FREE online communication platform through which a
blogger (the person who submits content to a blog), can
regularly share stories, photos, videos or links.
most blogs are written in first person
Organizations can share meaningful stories from the
field through the personal voice of staff members,
volunteers or partners
share other news or information, relevant to the
organization and its partners or stakeholders.
Easier to maintain than a website
SOCIAL MEDIA AND NGOS
Engagement: multiply audience reach and connect with people
through the use of innovative technologies and raising awareness
Strengthen capacity through online training and networking.
Advocacy: by quickly mobilizing citizens through information
sharing and transparency
Participation: all of these tools can be used to increase citizen
participation at the grassroots level in various issues in the most
Improves transparency, governance and accountability of
Helps organizations engage segments of the population difficult
to reach with traditional media
Establishes a transparent venue for public discourse
Allows for quick dissemination of timely information
Helps organizations directly engage with audiences through a
simple and cost-effective medium
SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY
1. Why is social media important to your
organization? What does your
organization hope to accomplish
through social media?
a. Consider mission, core values and
b. Make them as specific as possible.
2. How will social media help your
organization reach its goal?
a. Define the audience first
b. Decide which social media platforms cater to
c. allocate resources to a platform that has the
SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY FOR
CONTENT Values: What are your organization’s values and how will they
translate to your social media guidelines? Do you strive to be
impartial on political issues? Do you like to foster collaboration?
Roles: Who is in charge of the different roles connected to social
media? Who sets the strategy? Who manages the different platforms?
Is it the same person? Do you have a back-up person?
Tone: What is appropriate to say online? What should you never post?
What types of posts require prior approval?
Content: What is appropriate to say online? What should you never
post? What types of posts require prior approval?
Multimedia: Will you use original media produced by your
organization? Or, is it okay to use media from the Internet? What
types of images or videos should not be shared?
Controversy: How will you monitor “chatter” on social media
channels? How will you handle negative comments? When is it best to
respond? How should you respond?
Privacy: Will you provide training on how to properly include
attribution to original sources? Will names be associated with photos
or images? If so, will you use a person’s full name or first name only?
Is it okay to tag people in the photos? When is it okay to use photos
or videos of children or of certain constituents?
SETTING UP FACEBOOK
A social networking site is an online
community that allows users to create a profile
and cultivate a social network of friends and
Users may communicate with others in the
network by sharing ideas, activities and events
through updates and photos.
With over one billion active users, Facebook is
the most popular social networking site
Keep Facebook posts short and conversational, and include
photos whenever possible
A general rule to follow could be to post at least one
Facebook post a day, but the more you engage your
audience, the better off you will be.
Ask people to share your content through Facebook.
Make sure the content is branded with your logo so that we
are credited when it is shared.
Include links on Facebook to direct people back to the
You can easily create events on your Facebook page and
invite your Facebook friends, who can then invite their
friends, and so on.
Consider creating a Facebook event to advertise events
such as your branch meetings, rallies, and lobby days.
a social networking and microblogging site
Users can create a profile, gain followers and follow others.
Twitter posts are called Tweets and are restricted to 140
Share text, links, images or hashtags (#) for categorizing
They can also favorite, retweet, or reply to a tweet.
Provide your followers a real-time sense of what is going
on by sharing timely Tweets
Drive followers to strategic virtual destinations by offering
links to your organization’s website, online resources,
surveys or blogs
Follow trending topics with hashtags relevant to your
Engage in direct conversation with followers by replying to
TIPS FOR TWITTERHTTP://WWW.AAUW.ORG/RESOURCE/HOW-TO-USE-SOCIAL-MEDIA-FOR-ADVOCACY/
Share links to press releases, images from events, and
other information (in 140 characters or less).
Tweet directly to members of the media and bloggers to
encourage them to cover your efforts.
Tweet directly to local organizations that you want to
partner with in your efforts or that might be able to help
you spread the word.
Use hashtags, such as #BEC, #Bangladesh,
#stopcorruption, or #fairelections, anything related to an
issue you are trying to publicize.
Include links to your organization's priority issues on your
website and facebook page.
Follow your partner’s Twitter accounts: @NDI @IRIGLOBAL
Transparency International Twitter Account
DO’S AND DON’T’S
Evolve with change
Post with a purpose.
Use appropriate tools
Be methodical and
spontaneous and always
Integrate and promote
content across multiple
Stay active and engaged
Share multiple posts each
Post for the sake of meeting
your daily posting quotas
Use poor quality photos
Use generic and irrelevant
Respond with a derogatory
tone to negative comments
Share too much
The most popular video sharing site is YouTube, which
requires a user account to upload videos. Though, anyone
can view videos posted on YouTube. Popular photo sharing
sites include Flickr, Instagram and Pinterest, each catering
to a different niche. Some photo sharing sites also allow
users to post videos.
A wiki is a special web application that allows open content
editing by users, thus encouraging the democratic use of
the Web. Users can add, modify or delete content in a
collaborative environment. The owner of a wiki can choose
to allow open editing or limit editing to only those who have
an account or special permissions. Wikipedia, an online
encyclopedia produced collaboratively by volunteers around
the world, is the most popular wiki.
Businesses and organizations can create a Company Page
and as an extension of the Company Page, a Showcase Page
to feature a particular initiative they would like to drive
OPEN SOURCE TOOLS
Open source tools have transformed citizen
engagement by enabling people to voluntarily contribute
to projects from anywhere in the world.
Ushahidi and OpenStreetMap are examples of open
source tools that use the concept of crowdsourcing to
make data available to the public.
These tools are all democratizing information sharing
through the Internet and mobile phones.
The goal is for each partner to be able to
independently develop a sustainable
communications plan with the following:
1) Communications Strategy
2) Online Strategy
3) Social Media Strategy
4) Have your accounts up and running
5) Identify personnel to keep them updated
6) Post content
Just as how your strategic plan guides how your organization is moving into the future and guides decisions on what you do and how you do it.
Your nonprofit communications strategy is critical to how effectively a social profit organization strives for its vision and delivers on its mission.
As with any marketing effort, the first step to success is identifying who your organization wants to reach and find out how they are using social media. There is more and more audience research for users of particular social media tools and a lot of it is free. It pays to spend a few hours reviewing the demographic or “technographic” details (what people are doing online).
While secondary research may help inform what general direction you may want to go in, there is no substitute for primary research. And while surveys, focus groups and other services can give you an analysis of what your current audience is doing online, direct observation is works best. For instance, if you are considering a Facebook profile, before you set up an organizational presence - spend some time searching to see if and if anyone has set up a Fan Page or Group to talk about your organization or issue area. Or, if you are considering a blog, find out who the key bloggers are in your topic area. This will allow you to observe what your audience is saying in their natural environment. Some social media strategists call this step “listening” and it is essential first step in developing your social media strategy.
As with the introduction of any new technology or anything new for that matter, there are bound to be fears and concerns expressed by others in your organization. Common concerns about social media from nonprofits may include:
Loss of control over your organization's branding and marketing messages
Dealing with negative comments
Addressing personality versus organizational voice
Not being successful, fear of failure
Perception of wasted of time and resources
Suffering from information overload already, this will cause more
You need to pick the right hard data points or metrics that will help you track your objectives. It is important to look at trend movements and changes over time, not just numbers. But hard data points alone won't give you much value unless you harvest insights to improve your social media strategy. For social media, it is also important not to look at a single metric, you will have to evaluate your strategy performance from multiple dimensions.
While online platforms may seem simple enough to use, it does take skill
and creativity to build an online community and to maintain engagement. It
also requires commitment from leadership to invest in human and technical
When considering whether to integrate social media into your organization’s
communication strategy, be sure to engage leadership in the decision making
process. Together, discuss the benefits of social media engagement for your
organization and determine if sufficient resources exist to support the program,
recognizing that results will not happen overnight. It takes both time and effort
to build a social media presence and flexibility and patience to experiment with
new tools. Leadership will have to make a long-term commitment to the process
and allocate ample time and resources toward social media activities.
The prevalence of mobile phones has also stirred the rapid development of applications that equip people from disconnected and rural communities to easily access vital information. For example, through a short message service (SMS) an individual with a mobile phone can obtain information on market prices, report or monitor concerns related to their health and safety and receive and respond to mass texts with alerts.
NGOs are harnessing the power of these applications to connect to their audiences and to help build safer and more responsive communities.
A blog, short for Web log, is an online communication platform through which a blogger (the person who submits content to a blog), can regularly share stories, photos, videos or links according to the subject matter of the particular blog. It is often likened to a journal, because most blogs are written in first person and offer a more personal narrative compared to content traditionally found on a website.
Blogs are a valuable tool for development because they allow organizations to easily expand beyond their traditional communications mediums and social networks, and curate a content rich platform for their followers. Organizations can share meaningful stories from the field through the personal voice of staff members, volunteers or partners, without the hassle of updating their website.
They are also a great venue to share other news or information, relevant to the organization and its partners or stakeholders.
Pick your domain name. Picking a domain name will be one of the most important decisions you’ll make. Selecting a domain name for your organization that’s compelling and easy to remember will take patience and creativity. Decide where your site will be hosted. There are many differences between a WordPress.com blog, which is free, and a WordPress.org blog, but in summary, you want to go with WordPress.org. WordPress has a great list of hosting providers that support WordPress — and there are literally hundreds from you can choose from for a modest monthly cost. Install WordPress. Most reputable hosting companies offer a one-click install of WordPress as demonstrated in this video. Settle on a theme. A theme is essentially clothing for your website. It dictates the overall look and feel, as well as some of the functionality of your site. Check out these important considerations to help you choose a theme. Establish your permalink settings. The default permalink structure in WordPress relies on the post ID — basically, a number — which is not recommended if you want to get found when someone is searching on your topic. Instead, choose a permalink structure that is keyword rich, like categories and post names. Watch How to Create SEO-Friendly Permalinks to learn how to configure these basic settings. Add essential plug-ins. Plug-ins are add-ons that enhance the functionality of your nonprofit WordPress site. Check out this good list of essential plug-ins. Create basic pages. WordPress pages are different from posts. Start with the basic pages first, such as an About page, a Donation page, a Volunteer page or a Subscribe page. Draft some text and add in images as desired. - See more at: http://www.socialbrite.org/2011/05/23/build-a-wordpress-site-for-your-nonprofit-in-9-steps/#sthash.fdmGenTy.dpuf
Social media can be used as a tool to promote advancements in the field of development. It allows organizations with few resources to multiply their audience reach and connect with people through the use of innovative technologies, and to inform them about important issues affecting their lives and their communities. With increased information sharing through online tools, there is greater
opportunity for development. Citizens can quickly disseminate critical
information and play a direct role in democracy-building in their communities.
However, access to information is just one step in the advocacy process.
Mobilizing people and communities to use that information and contribute to
the knowledge base is critical to a campaign’s success.
To answer these questions, consider your organization’s mission, core values
and programmatic goals. Why does the organization exist? What is important
to the organization? What does it hope to accomplish? The organization has
determined social media can help serve as a tool to reach its programmatic goals.
Now it is time to decide which goals in particular the organization would like to
achieve through social media. Make them as specific as possible.
To help you think through this process, consider the organization’s goals.
Is it trying to build awareness around a certain product or service? Is it
fundraising for a particular project? Is it building a community of volunteers?
Or, is it advocating for a particular cause? Begin by picking one goal that you
think is possible for the organization to achieve through social media. For example, if the target audience is young mothers, you would probably want
to use Facebook or YouTube to reach them, or any other platform that is popular
for that demographic in the region. Using LinkedIn, a network for professionals
to connect for employment opportunities, will not be very useful. It would be a
waste of valuable resources to spend time on a platform that does not cater to the
Once the appropriate social media platforms have been selected, identify
performance indicators to measure success. The performance indicators must be
specific and measurable, and tied directly to the organization’s objective. If the
performance indicators reveal the organization is successfully reaching or building
towards reaching its objective, then you know you are on the right track. If they
reveal the opposite, then the organization must adjust its strategy, apply a revised
strategy and measure again.
Groups and Pages serve different purposes on Facebook. Groups are meant to foster group discussion around a particular topic area while Pages allow entities such as public figures and organizations to broadcast information to their fans. Only the authorized representative of the entity can run a Page.
So one of your employees might set up a “group” for your organization, and that would be fine. But only an official representative of an organization can set up the official Page for that organization (or at least someone who is willing to say that they are an official rep!).
Both options allow users to share photos and videos, plan
and promote events, post news or information through status updates, and like or comment on posts.
Each time a user engages in these activities, it becomes visible in their friends’ or followers’ news feed.
Evolve with change - Social media platforms are constantly changing and
evolving. Organizations must always be prepared to adapt to these changes and
adjust their strategies accordingly.
Post with a purpose - There is a reason an organization has a presence on social
media. Stay true to this purpose and share content that is aligned with it.
Use appropriate tools - Carefully select appropriate tools for desired results. If
the intent is to build an online community, use a social networking site instead of
a photo sharing site.
Integrate and promote content across multiple platforms - Repurpose content
and share it on other platforms, but always make adjustments to leverage the
Be both methodical and spontaneous, and always relevant - Posts and
comments should always be timely and appropriate for the venue and audience.
Stay active and engaged - Engagement is key to success. If it is not possible
to maintain an active presence on a platform, it may be best to reconsider its
Share multiple posts each day - When appropriate, maximize exposure by
sharing posts at different times of the day, being mindful of different time zones.
The goal is to capture the attention of an audience that may have missed an
Photo and video sharing sites have become increasingly popular with the proliferation of smartphones.